The full copy of David Schamus’ letter to the editor, which ran abridged in Roundup issue 119, volume 1, Sept. 18, 2013, is printed below for your reference.
“An open letter to Gus Sandoval, President of the Associated Students Organization:
I will keep this short and simple. Yesterday was a very dark day for the faculty of Pierce College. The faculty Academic Senate is a primary Shared Governance body on this campus. It is meant to be the place where we as faculty are meant to come to together; — to discuss, in an open and collegial forum, the great issues that face us as community college educators. It is a place where we have an opportunity to be leaders. I made a feeble, failed attempt at leadership. Several others suffered the same fate.
The bright light that in the past has been the Pierce faculty’s ability to create consensus that empowered us to work toward students success, reaffirmation of our accreditation, and manage the difficult budget crises we faced was not just dimmed yesterday, it came dangerously close to being extinguished.
Yesterday was a very dark day for the faculty of Pierce College; — dark enough for me to question whether we, as faculty, are serving our students, leading them towards a bright future, and providing the role modeling for which we are known. It was a sad day for this campus and it was a sad day for me personally.
Fortunately, in the midst of the darkness of our Monday meeting, one bright light emerged. One leader, and only one leader emerged. One bright spot, and only one bright spot emerged; — and it was you. The students, and this campus as a whole are lucky to have you here as a leader. The sign of a good leader is not just about winning a debate or controlling the flow of a meeting; — it is about doing the right thing and gathering successful action through consensus.
I hope your words will inspire our faculty to find a way to resolve its current, ephemeral problems. I hope your words will inspire our faculty to remember that we are here to serve our students and the community. And I hope that the next time you address the Academic Senate it will be to congratulate them on one of the many things in which we have collectively created success.
You inspired me and I thank you.